Guidelines for keeping your valuables safe
This may sound like stating the obvious, but if you have locks use them! Lots of people have good locks, but when they go out, they don't lock them, especially those deadlocks because it takes a little more time to use. If we told you that a professional thief would take less than 10 seconds to break in without a deadlock, then would you take 10 seconds to lock it? Here are some of our recommendations to keep your family, home, vehicle, office and your valuables safe without spending a fortune. In fact many of these security hints are completely free, all you have to do is think about how you use the resources that you already have.
Even after reading all of this, there are people who will think nothing will ever happen to them.
- Make sure your locks are up to a good standard. Check new and existing locks for British Standard markings. All last closing external doors should be fitted with a mortice lock complying with B.S.3621. If your doors are made from uPVC, they should have at least 5 points of locking up the side of the door, or 2-4 hook bolts with a latch and deadbolt. If you have a 3-point deadbolt lock, the deadbolts should throw at least 20mm depending on what lock type you have. Once again, when you leave the property, make sure that you lift the handle and deadlock the door. Alternatively you can turn the key twice towards the frame, which will also deadlock the door.
- Don't leave your keys in the locks. To be safe keys must not only be removed, but placed at least 1.5 metres away from windows and doors. Never leave keys in the vicinity of the letterbox, especially car keys. If you leave keys accessible, you are just leaving easy pickings for thieves. When a thief has been able to fish your keys out of the letterbox with a stick, they have access, regardless of what locks you have on your doors!
- If you are locked out of your house could you get back in without too much trouble? So can a thief. You have a security problem.
- Every house should have a safe. Every item of value that is not immediately needed for use should go in the safe. Your safe should be large enough for all your credit and debit cards, cheque and bank books, passports, spare house and car keys, house deeds and of course jewellery and spare cash. When buying a safe, make sure it complies with the relevant standards of EN 14450 & EN 1143-1, if it is not, then your insurance may be invalid, leaving your valuables uncovered. Every household has items with values greater than the installation cost of a safe. This alone makes it a good investment to prevent the valuables being stolen. One final tip on installing a safe; Make Sure You Anchor It Down Securely
- If you have just moved into a new house - change the locks! Never leave this to chance. While you may trust the vendors, how can you trust someone that you have never met? Who has a spare set of keys? They may never use them, but they might just pop in while you are on holiday just to be nosy. How good is the key holders' security? What if someone steals your neatly labelled keys from someone else's house? What if they lose them? If you don't change the locks, you will never know who has access to your house.
- Secure your outbuildings, sheds and garages. A lot of people are really great at locking up their houses, but when it comes to the shed or the garage, they forget! Locking your outbuildings is just as important as locking your house, if not even more so. So many sheds and garages contain tools (spades, forks, screwdrivers etc.) that can be used by burglars to break in. Not only to your house of course, they could go through the whole street. How would it make you feel when facing the neighbours after that one? Also, don't forget those ladders and side gates. These should be locked with a good quality hasp and staple, padlocks and chains.
- Alarms are a very good idea, but the locks come first. Make sure you secure your property, then the alarm comes second. You don't want to invite burglars in, letting them snatch and grab what they can while someone may get round to phoning the police! If you have an alarm that is monitored, you might have to wait 15-20 minutes before anyone arrives. You want to keep thieves out of your property with the alarm going off, not let them in with an indication of how long they have got to rob you blind! Your alarm must be serviced regularly, at least twice a year if you want a reduction in your house insurance. Also, don't forget that to get a reduction in the first place, your alarm must be fitted by an approved installer, like Brights Locksmiths Ltd.
- Security lights and cameras are also a good idea. Make sure that they are fitted correctly and don't forget to be sensitive to your neighbours. In the fight against crime, neighbours can be great allies. They may be less kindly disposed towards helping you if they are woken up every time a cat walks in range of your PIR sensor.
- Have your property surveyed by a Qualified Locksmith. Make sure they are MLA (Master Locksmiths Association) approved. They will be able to tell you where the weak points are and what new security measures, if any, you need to take. Most reputable companies will carry out a survey for free and give you an estimate for work needed to bring your security measures up to Insurance Company Approved Standards. Visit the MLA (Master Locksmiths Association) website at www.locksmiths.co.uk and follow the link to Home Security for help in finding your local licensed locksmith, and other security information.
They would rather leave security to chance.
That is up to the individual
You have the information. You have a choice